Black Girls Code opened their new office Wednesday inside Google's New York building. Black Girls Code is a nonprofit organization that focuses on providing technology education to young women of color ages 7–17. By teaching girls programming and game design, organizers hope to have started the lifelong process of developing in them a true love for technology and the self-confidence that comes from understanding the greatest tools of the 21st century. Organizations like Black Girls Code are needed to help close the achievement gaps that we see in the black community. By the 8th grade, less than 1/3 of black students are proficient in math and science. According to the U.S. Department of Education, only 40 percent of public high schools serving black students offer physics, and less than 1/3 of public high schools servicing black students offer calculus. With stats like these, black students are disadvantaged and fall behind in courses that lead to the STEM field. It's not because we are inadequate, its because our resources are. Black Girls Code helps to change that narrative. By providing black girls the opportunity to learn programming and game design, they help close the gap and instill in our young women that anything is possible. Black Girls Code isn't alone in this mission. This month, Morehouse College became one of the first HBCUs to launch a SMASH pathways pilot program. This provides 39 rising 9th graders the opportunity to get exposed to the STEM field and train them on math and science concepts. With HBCUs serving as 21 of the top 50 institutions that educate black graduates who go on to receive their doctorates in science and engineering, HBCUs also play an important part in this work. Their constant support and willingness to partner with STEM programs help to not only promote the legacy of HBCUs but helps to increase enrollment at our beloved institutions. Congrats to Black Girls Code and all the organizations who are striving to close the gap for the next generation of STEM scholars.
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